Thursday, 8 June 2017

Rwanda

The republic of Rwanda is situated in Central and East Africa. The Kingdom of Rwanda dominated from the mid-18th century, with the Tutsi kings conquering others militarily, centralising power and later enacting anti-Hutu policies. Germany colonised Rwanda in 1884 as part of German East Africa, followed by Belgium, which invaded in 1916 during the First World War. Both European nations ruled through the kings and perpetuated a pro-Tutsi policy. The Hutu population revolted in 1959. They massacred numerous Tutsi and ultimately established an independent, Hutu-dominated state in 1962. The Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front launched a civil war in 1990. Social tensions erupted in the 1994 genocide, in which Hutu extremists killed an estimated 500,000 to 1.3 million Tutsi and moderate Hutu. The RPF ended the genocide with a military victory.

The first stamps of independent Rwanda were issued in 1962. The first years Belgian artists were responsible for the designs of the colourful stamps. Due to the civil war in 1994 hardly any stamps were issued in that period and in later years.

I sent a request to the Rwandese post with an international reply coupon. Within a month I received my envelope back with three stamps from 1980 (painting by Paul Gauguin), 1989 (Rural self-help year) and 2010 (Folklore). These stamps are clearly still in use and available. The clear postmark comes from the capital city Kigali.

Website of the philatelic service of Iposita Rwanda: i-posita.rw/philately/.

Date sent: 17 April 2017
Date postmark: 11 May 2017
Date received: 17 May 2017
Number of days: 30
Envelope in collection: 68



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